Preparing an Online Survey

The online survey method has been widely used by different fields of science as well as business throughout the years. The process of creating and conducting an online survey is similar to performing a traditional pencil- and-paper survey, but with more convenience and faster results.

This article is a part of the guide:

Discover 32 more articles on this topic

Browse Full Outline

Preparing an online survey involves several steps, starting with reviewing the survey goals and ending with administering the survey to all the online respondents.

Step 1: Review the Survey Goals

It is necessary to verify the survey goals and objectives first before preparing the survey questionnaire. The survey goals determine whether an online survey questionnaire is the best method of data collection for this particular survey or not.

Preparing an online survey involves several steps, starting with reviewing the survey goals and ending with administering the survey to all the online respondents.

Step 2: Prepare Draft Questions

List draft questions that you can juice out from the survey goals. These can be questions asking about the demographic information of the respondents to make sure that they are eligible to participate in the survey. Draft questions can also be the main questions you would like to ask about the issue or product.

Step 3: Use a Web Survey Tool

There are various web survey tool providers in the Internet, so you must set some criteria in order to choose the most suitable one for your survey. If your main concern is the budget for the survey, you can utilize free web survey tools such as Google Forms. For better and more accurate survey results, you may use paid web survey tools from SurveyMonkey, LimeSurvey, and many others.

Step 4: Create the Survey Layout

The layout of the survey can be done through a computer application such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Visual Basic, and others. The survey can then be uploaded to the Internet. However, it is more convenient to use one of the ready-made templates offered by web survey tool providers wherein you just have to type the questions and the survey provider will be the one to organize them into a professional-looking online survey.

Step 5: Expand the Questionnaire

Subject the draft questions you wrote earlier to brainstorming in order to simplify them and make them more concise and accurate. The questions should be short and simple to facilitate higher response and completion rates. In addition, the questions should be arranged from the easiest question to answer (e.g. demographic data) to the most complex one. For higher completion rates, make the questionnaire answerable within 5 to 10 minutes. Therefore, you are limited to ask only 15 to 30 questions at a rate of 3 to 4 questions per minute.

Step 6: Pretest the Online Survey

Administer the survey to 2 to 10 eligible participants (pending on the scale of the survey) for pilot testing. Ask if there are any vague or very complicated questions and response options. Using the respondents’ feedbacks, revise the online survey.

Step 7: Administer the Survey to All Respondents

Paid web survey tool providers are usually responsible in finding eligible respondents and administering the survey questionnaire to them. For higher response rates, you may post links to the survey in various major social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Full reference: 

(Mar 7, 2012). Preparing an Online Survey. Retrieved May 29, 2024 from

You Are Allowed To Copy The Text

The text in this article is licensed under the Creative Commons-License Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

This means you're free to copy, share and adapt any parts (or all) of the text in the article, as long as you give appropriate credit and provide a link/reference to this page.

That is it. You don't need our permission to copy the article; just include a link/reference back to this page. You can use it freely (with some kind of link), and we're also okay with people reprinting in publications like books, blogs, newsletters, course-material, papers, wikipedia and presentations (with clear attribution).

Want to stay up to date? Follow us!